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California divorce lawyer, California mediation attorneyThere are certain situations under California law where one spouse may be entitled to receive spousal support from the other spouse after a divorce. The point of spousal support – also referred to as alimony or spousal maintenance – is to provide income for a spouse who either does not work or was earning a much lower wage than the other spouse, such as where one spouse gave up their career to be a stay-at-home parent and raise the children.

Another purpose of alimony is to assist the lower-earning spouse in maintaining the standard of living they were accustomed to during the marriage until they are in a better financial position. In order to determine if support is warranted, the court will look at several different factors. The first factor is the gross income of the marriage. Under the California Family Code, income can include:

  • Wages;
  • Salary;
  • Bonuses;
  • Commissions;
  • Dividends;
  • Royalties; and
  • Trust income.

Once the income of each spouse is determined, those figures are entered into an alimony calculator. The calculator also requires input of the length of the marriage. Under the law, if a couple has been married for less than 10 years, support will not be ordered for any longer than half the amount of years the couple were married. For marriages over 10 years, the amount of time spousal support may be an extended period, if not indefinite.

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California divorce lawyer, California mediation attorneyThankfully, the United States and California have come a long way when it comes to marriage regulations. Now for most circumstances, no matter the makeup of your current romantic relationship, you are legally able to marry. The process is much the same as a marriage and provides the same benefits, which is why so many couples are choosing to make their relationship legally recognized through domestic partnership.

The Benefits

California state statutes say,

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California divorce lawyer, California family law attorneyAs parents, we try to do everything in our power to protect our children. In California state law, the determination of custody and visitation schedule revolves solely on what is in the best interest of the child. However, past a certain age, the child begins to have a significant amount more weight in the decision-making process, especially when it comes to child custody and visitation.

When the Child Decides

As parents, we know what is best for our children. However, there comes the point in their life when they begin to have wants, needs, and opinions that may differ from ours. It is a part of the growing up process, and our children will inevitably reach this point as we did with our parents. That age is different for each person, so who determines at what age this is an age appropriate decision? A few years ago, California resolved the dispute by setting guidelines for which to follow. According to California Family Code 3042, consideration will be given to the preferences of the child if:

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Californian family law attorney, California custody lawyerWhen it comes to our children, we all strive to be the best parent we can be. We want the perfect house, a successful career, and to see our kids grow up to become self-sufficient and one day has a family of their own. These life goals do not stop once we divorce our spouse. Additionally, from a child’s point-of-view, the only thing they want is to know they are loved and supported by both parents, regardless of their feelings for each other. Based on this understanding, the first right of refusal is a clause found in many child custody arrangements.

What is the first right of refusal?

Whether it is for a 12-hour work shift or a night out with friends, not all parents have the ability to be with their children 24-hours a day, every single day. The First Right of Refusal (FROR) concept in California means that if one parent is unable to be with the child, the other parent is the first person contacted to watch the child. This right is afforded in the child custody agreement and is applicable to both planned and unplanned events. Parents utilizing this clause enjoy the benefits of:

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California mediation attorney, CaIifornia annulment lawyerAnnulment is a term many people have heard, but in legal practice annulments are rare. Still, if your marriage qualifies for an annulment, it could change many things about the dissolution of your marriage.

An annulment is granted when the parties wish to end their marriage, and a court determines that the marriage was never valid and never existed. A divorce is granted when the parties wish to end their marriage, and the marriage was validly entered into.

A marriage can always be annulled if there is incest or bigamy. Incest happens when spouses are close blood relatives. Bigamy is when a spouse is already married to someone else when he or she marries a second time.

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